Looking for a unique and intriguing way to store your pen collection? Why not try a vintage vending machine.
There’s a TV show in the US called ‘Auction Kings’ on which people bring in rare, historic or collectible items to be appraised and sold at auction in a gallery in Atlanta.
On one recent episode, a man brought in one of the coolest pieces of pen memorabilia that I’ve ever seen: A Vendorama Ballpoint Pen Dispenser.
The Vendorama is a machine built in the 50s and 60s by Victor Vending Company in Chicago. They were built from oak, trimmed in chrome and baked enamel, and held up to 168 pens. The buyer dropped in a dime, turned the handle like a gumball machine and got one ballpoint pen.
As you can see in the photos above, the pens lay horizontally in slots on a centre drum, perfect for preventing leakage or drying. The face of the machine opens outward on a hinge (with a key), providing easy access to the pens.
How awesome would that look sitting on a cabinet, stocked with all your favourite pens?
The good news is that there are still more Vendoramas out there for sale on eBay and other auction sites. The bad news is that they’re cool collectables and that means pricey. One recently sold on eBay for US$610. Another, with the side refill dispenser, is offered by an antique dealer for $US585.
But there’s hope. The one sold on Auction Kings went for just $325.
Besides, if you’ve already spent hundreds or thousands on a pen collection, what’s a little more for the perfect storage cabinet.
What do you think?